Awards were presented to honored colleagues at the Third AmeriDendro Conference held in Mendoza, Argentina, March 28 - April 1, 2016. The Tree-Ring Society (TRS) now regularly presents three awards at sponsored conferences: the Fritts, the Boninsegna, and the Holmes Awards. This year, TRS Council member and Conference Liaison Ignacio Mundo led the awards process. Nominations were requested before the meeting and reviewed by the judges, including Ignacio Mundo, 2014 Fritts awardee Malcolm Hughes and Holmes awardee Bruce Bauer, as well as TRS President Elaine Kennedy Sutherland and Vice-President Iain Robertson. The awardees were notified before the meeting, but unfortunately not all could be in attendance. Two nominees were given the Fritts award, two nominees were given the Boninsegna award, and one nominee, the Holmes award. We thank these individuals for their significant contributions to the field of dendrochronology and their generosity of spirit and effort towards students and colleagues. In addition, students are now recognized for the posters and oral presentations judged to be best in the conference. We also thank the Haglöf Company for providing the borers given to the best student poster and oral presentation.

The Harold C. Fritts Award for Lifetime Achievement in Dendrochronology: Thomas W. Swetnam

The Fritts award is given to individuals who have significantly influenced the field of dendrochronology, emphasizing innovative research that has advanced the tree-ring sciences and made it more recognizable among our peer sciences. Dr. Swetnam is a Regent’s Professor (retired) at the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research (LTRR) at the University of Arizona, USA. Swetnam spent his career at the LTRR where he did his graduate work, was a professor, and then Director. His many honors include being named as a Regent’s Professor at the University and as a Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The Tree-Ring Society recognized Swetnam for his achievements in the application of tree-ring research methods to ecological and forest management issues, particularly wildfire, the influence of this work on national and international land management policy, his teaching and mentoring of many students and other scholars, and his leadership as Director of the LTRR. Though he retired in 2015, Swetnam remains active in research and publication.

The Harold C. Fritts Award for Lifetime Achievement in Dendrochronology: Ricardo Villalba

The Tree-Ring Society acknowledged his contributions to the development of large tree-ring chronology networks in South America, his outstanding contributions in paleoclimatology and the exploration of hemispheric and global-scale teleconnections, and his generous and enthusiastic collaborative spirit. Dr. Villalba is a CONICET Superior Research Scientist in the Laboratory of Dendrochronology, Instituto Argentino de Nivología, Glaciología y Ciencias Ambientales (IANIGLA-CONICET) in Mendoza, Argentina. As a member of the PAGES (Past Global Changes) community Villalba was a lead author of the paleo chapter of the IGBP AR4 report and shared in their Nobel Prize (2007). Further, he was recognized for his leadership as Director of IANIGLA, his mentoring of students and young scientists, and for his advocacy that resulted in the 2010 Argentine law for the Protection of Glaciers and Periglacial Environments.

The José A. Boninsegna Frontiers in Dendrochronology Award: Markus Stoffel

The Boninsegna Award is given to an individual for cutting-edge research in dendrochronology, including bridging geographic, research and methodological frontiers, embodied most notably by Dr. Stoffel’s demonstrated innovation and significant achievements in the field of dendrogeomorphology. Dr. Stoffel is an Associate Professor in Natural Hazards at the University of Geneva and Associate Professor in Geomorphology at the University of Berne, Switzerland. In early work, Stoffel introduced the use of a range of anatomical features as indicators of past disturbance events, facilitating the dating of disasters with sub-annual precision. With his team, he developed quantitative indices and sampling guidelines to increase the signal-to-noise ratio of geomorphic events and coupled these results with climate and physically-based process models to identify the drivers of geomorphic events. This innovative application of tree-ring data in climate change research provides a predictive capability for future disasters at a given site: work with significant basic scientific importance and crucial applied value for risk and hazard management planning. He and his team have performed this work in Europe, Central and South America, north Africa, and Asia.

The José A. Boninsegna Frontiers in Dendrochronology Award: Connie Woodhouse

Dr. Woodhouse received this award for her leadership in hydrologic reconstruction and her highly effective efforts in conveying the importance of tree-ring reconstructions to water resource managers. Dr. Woodhouse is a Professor of Geography and Development with joint appointments in Geosciences and the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona, U.S.A. Notably, she (1) performed one of the first snow water equivalent reconstructions, (2) has developed reconstructions of streamflow from coastal California to the Great Plains, and (3) led the first major research project to reconstruct North American Monsoon precipitation. Woodhouse has set an example for many students in her enthusiastic engagement in all phases of projects, from field work to publication, and by involving them in all phases of the work. She developed a highly successful workshop approach with water managers to explain hydrologic reconstructions and discuss the implications for management and planning. In 2009, Woodhouse and her team were recognized for their efforts with a Partners in Conservation Award for assisting the U.S.A. Bureau of Reclamation to develop a Colorado River management model that envisions future drought scenarios and consequent management implications.

The Richard L. Holmes Award for Outstanding Service to Dendrochronology: Rex Adams

The Holmes Award is given for service to dendrochronology in the areas of educational service, teaching service, committee membership, positions served, software and hardware development, database development, or e-communications. Rex Adams recently retired from the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona, U.S.A. as a Research Specialist. In his 30 years of service, he supported the science and education of investigators, students, and visitors in every aspect of dendrochronology – in the classroom, the field, the wood shop, and the dry laboratory. The ripples of Adams’ service reach around the world because his support has affected the work of dendrochronologists both domestically and internationally, the latter from several continents trained at LTRR when they were visiting scientists or students. Few of us in technical careers have the ability to communicate science to non-specialists, but Adams served as the LTRR outreach contact, speaking about dendrochronology in terms understandable to thousands of people of all ages on tours visiting the LTRR or at their school or organization. His contributions extend far beyond the LTRR walls.

Student Awards

Julieta Arco-Molina (IANIGLA-CONICET, Mendoza, Argentina) received the best student poster award at Ameridendro for her poster entitled “An age-related morphological trait that potentially protects the cambium from frosts on Araucaria araucana trees in northern Patagonia.” Two additional students received special mentions, including Mariana Pagotta (Departament of Biology, Federal University of Sergipe, Brazil) for her poster “Regional rainfall and Atlantic sea surface temperature influences the growth rings of Poincianella pyramidalis (Tul.) L. P. Queiroz from Brazilian dry forest” and Jessie Pearl (Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, U.S.A.) for her poster, “Dendroclimatology of Atlantic White cedar in the northeastern United States.”

Winner of the best student oral presentation was Amanda Young (Department of Geography, Pennsylvania State University, U.S.A.) for her talk, “Climate-growth relationships of Betula ermanii and Abies mariesii in high elevation forests of the Northern Japanese Alps.” Two students received special mentions in this category; Miriam Isaac-Renton (Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada) for her talk, “Mechanisms underlying genetic differences in drought response: a dual-isotope and wood anatomy approach,” and Rocío Urrutia-Jalabert (Laboratorio de Dendrocronología y Cambio Global, Universidad Austral de Chile) for “Increased water use efficiency but contrasting tree-growth patterns in Fitzroya cupressoides forests of southern Chile during recent decades.” Congratulations to these students for their considerable achievements and best wishes for their future careers.